Earth and Ocean Sciences

Dr. Lewis Abrams

Professor of Oceanography

L. Abrams photo Myrtle Grove 1328, Deloach 119
Center for Marine Science
University of North Carolina Wilmington
5600 Marvin K. Moss Lane
Wilmington, NC 28409
Tel: 910 962-2350; Fax: 910 962-2410
email:, Personal Webpage

M.S., Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, 1986
Ph.D., Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, 1992

Dr. Abrams teaches GLY120 Environmental Geology, GLY150 Introduction to Oceanography, GLY465/565 Introduction to Geophysics, and GLY550 Marine Geology.

Research Interests:
I specialize in investigating sub-surface features, both submarine and terrestrial, using a variety of geophysical instruments including seismic and multibeam bathymetry systems along with, gravimeters, magnetometers, and ground penetrating radar. My research includes marine geophysical and Ocean Drilling Program expeditions in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as well as the Caribbean Sea. A current research project investigates deep-sea sediments that indicate an abrupt global warming event ~ 55 Ma, which is characterized by the most severe mass extinction of benthic foraminifera in the past 100 m.y. Another current project examines seafloor structures known as "large igneous provinces" which appear to be formed by extreme volcanic activity. It is hypothesized that the largest of these volcanic events is associated with significant geodynamic, geochemical and climatic changes including the transition to the mid-Cretaceous "Greenhouse" climate, elevated sealevels, ocean anoxic events, and the long period of normal magnetic polarity. I am also involved in research to determine the type and amount of material being subducted at various western Pacific deep-sea trenches in an effort to quantify the crustal recycling process. Most recently, I have mapped submarine faults to help constrain the seismogenic and tsunamogenic potential of the northeastern North American-Caribbean plate boundary in the vicinity of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.